Road to Angkor Wat, Week 1

It still feels quite unreal to me that I’ve been invited to run an iconic race by the end of the year. A few months ago, Manulife reached out and asked if I’d be interested in running the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon on December 3. A few of my running friends have done this event, which is one of two long-distance races held in Angkor, Cambodia. What other answer could I have given except for “Yes”? Continue reading “Road to Angkor Wat, Week 1”

Before You Sign Up for that Long-Distance Triathlon…

This year, the major long-distance triathlon organizer in the country laid down some new ground rules. In order to sign up for their upcoming Ironman Philippines, one must have done a half or full-distance triathlon between January 2016 to March 2018.

I regret writing here that this would be a cheaper way to do an Ironman. Unless you’ve been caught in the yearly vicious cycle of signing up for 70.3’s come October, you probably weren’t counting on having to do another race on top of the one you really want to do. I know a few experienced triathletes who have been waiting for a full Ironman but only race Olympic distance because they don’t like the Cebu and Subic 70.3 courses, or it’s too expensive to race a 70.3 every year. They pounced on the Ironman registration, but are now caught in a bind. (I know someone who has quit triathlon for now on principle because of this requirement which was laid down after they had registered.)

If you’re in this situation, you can either spend more money and sign up for a half, have your registration transferred to another Ironman in the region, or ask for a full refund.

While the organizer has a right to lay these requirements down for newbies, it still rubs me the wrong way as an experienced triathlete and ironman finisher that my 2014 Challenge Roth finish and most recent 70.3 Cebu race in 2015 don’t fall within the timetable — especially since other races within the region don’t have a similar requirement, and it’s a requirement that was set in place post-hoc. Anyway, it seems people like me are a minority, with many of the athletes already completing the validation requirement or set to do so.

This is why it’s so important not to get swept up in the hype that comes during registration season. I always consider a few things before I sign up for longer distances because I now know very well that I can’t rush the preparation my body needs. At this point, it’ll be three years before I even consider signing up for another half-ironman. (You might need less or more time.)

Why? Because I had been running for two years before I did my first minisprint triathlon. The following year, I moved up to sprint. The year after that, I did my first Olympic. And then I decided I’d do a half. It took me seven years to build up to a full ironman, given my work and other physical commitments. By then I had laid down a very deep foundation of aerobic endurance fitness.

So, here are the things you should know before you sign up for a long-distance triathlon. Continue reading “Before You Sign Up for that Long-Distance Triathlon…”

Return to Endurance, Week 7

I’m only now just coming back to normal after an intense week of working behind the scenes for Super League Jersey, the second event of Super League Triathlon. Unlike the previous event in Australia where I was working onsite, they tried out having me work remotely churning out press releases. Unfortunately for me on race weekend, this meant ending my work day at 4 or 5am. That’s because Jersey is located in the Channel Islands south of the UK; while it was 4am here, it was only 8pm over there. The work load also doubled from the previous event because I had to write about three separate races over two days. It was a lot of mental and physical stress. Continue reading “Return to Endurance, Week 7”

Return to Endurance, Week 6

I’ve been feeling really down this past week thanks to my workload. I’m constantly off-balance and trying to catch up with stuff, and it takes a lot of downtime to unwind from this stress. But my “feeling down” is just general annoyance and tiredness, and it’s pretty easy for me to de-stress. Aside from getting daily exercise, all I need is good food and good company. This week I got heaps of that. Continue reading “Return to Endurance, Week 6”

Return to Endurance, Week 5

My job entails writing about professional triathletes — their wins, their losses, their day-to-day lives. The longer I’m in this sport and industry, the more I am thankful that I don’t need to win for a living. My ability to hit target numbers in training and climb atop a podium on race day has no effect whatsoever on my monthly paycheck. I’m pretty sure there are some of you working your 9-to-6 job annoyed at the lack of training time. I know of some people who quit their day jobs and go on a sabbatical living as semi-professionals. But I once told a pro, “The things I do for fun, you do for a living.” Continue reading “Return to Endurance, Week 5”

Maculot Day Hike and Traverse

What goes up must come down… but not always at the same rate. This is what I found out last Saturday during a hike up and down Mt. Maculot in Cuenca, Batangas.

Dirt is my Kryptonite during races. However, I have always been curious about climbing mountains properly after casually hiking Pinagbanderahan in Converse sneakers while taping a travel show nine years ago. The opportunity finally came when my long-time friend Julia (of Blessmybag) said they were short a few people for a privately-guided tour up Maculot. Continue reading “Maculot Day Hike and Traverse”